A MEDICAL practice set up to deal with the influx of visitors to the Capital during festival season has opened its doors.
The Festival Practice, based at the Western General Hospital, is a dedicated service to treat visitors who are not registered with a GP in the city.
In past years, health services in Edinburgh have been put under increased strain during August due to the rise in the population.
During last year’s festival, 10,000 people went to the A&E department at the ERI – an increase of around 1000 compared with average months.
Dr Sian Tucker, acting clinical director for the Lothian Unscheduled Care Service, said: “Visitors should contact NHS 24 on 08454 242424 if they feel unwell and they will be given an appointment if necessary. It’s important to stress that the Festival Practice is not a walk-in service. The practice treats a range of non- emergency conditions and will help to relieve some of the pressure on our A&E departments which are normally busier at this time of year.”
NHS Lothian is also encouraging more people to visit the Minor Injuries Clinic before going straight to A&E.
The facility, also based at the Western, offers assessment and treatment, and patients with less serious injuries can often be seen without an appointment.